History Is Alive at Living History Days


The Living History Days will be held April 29-30, 2016 in Westminster, Colorado. Living history is basically where a bunch of actors re-enact what happened during a time in history. The title of the event this time is “Concord, Massachusetts, April, 1775 ‘The Shot Heard Around The World’”.

Kids will be able to meet the people, dressed in costume, that worked to keep this British colony working in the 18th century (since America had not been founded yet!). They have various stations that feature hands-on activities for both adults and kids including: blacksmiths, 18th century kids’ games, woodworking, agriculture, military personnel, etc. You can also go and listen to political speeches like Patrick Henry and Colonel George Washington getting the troops motivated.

I interviewed Daniel Harlan, who is reenacting the part of Harlan Cloud, a real ancestor of his who studied medicine for 4 years and then became a surgeon/dentist/veterinarian. Daniel has been doing these reenactments for 8 years, and this is his second time to be a medical expert. At other events he was a drummer and a carpenter. He was very knowledgeable about life in the 18th century.

During the Living History Days Harlan will perform surgical operations to show visitors what the doctors had to do back then. For example they could not use anesthetics. Some of the tools he might use are: a lancet, a bullet probe, a surgical hook, linens, forceps, a tourniquet, deer dung (to help with TB), a sewing kit for stitches, a bite stick for pain, and a bone saw. His surgical operations are at 1 p.m. each day. But warning, they are “not for the faint of heart or weak-stomached,” according to the website.

Did you know that back then they would use roots and tree bark to treat the flu and fever? They would grind it to make tea or combine it with other ingredients to make pills to swallow. They also used cinnamon sticks for toothaches.

Harlan Cloud is the oldest son of his family and has land in Pennsylvania that he will inherit when his father dies. He is a Christian.

I am looking forward to going to this Living History Days. I went last year in the fall (they had a different period of time and it was located in Morrison then) and it was so much fun! Please check out www.livinghistorydays.com for more details about the schedule and events. It is $4 per person, cash or check (no credit cards accepted).

Don’t miss the large battle reenactment at noon on both days – last fall, they shot cannons, and the American colonists battled the British and the native American Indians with muskets and rifles!